LaMelo Ball leads Hornets to easy win over Magic

Apr 7, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets center Mason Plumlee (24) gets fouled on his shot attempt by Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs (4) during the first quarter at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

LaMelo Ball scored 26 points and Terry Rozier posted 22 points as the backcourt for the Charlotte Hornets set the tone in a 128-101 victory against the visiting Orlando Magic on Thursday night.

Kelly Oubre Jr. added 16 points and Montrezl Harrell 14 as Charlotte (41-39) won for just the second time in five games. Miles Bridges added 13 points and P.J. Washington had 10.

Chuma Okeke poured in 20 points and Moritz Wagner racked up 17 for the Magic (21-60), which got 12 points each from Markelle Fultz, Ignas Brazdeikis, R.J. Hampton and Devin Cannady.

After moderate threats of a comeback from the Magic, the Hornets rattled off the first 11 points of the fourth quarter for a 26-point edge. Soon after, there was a scuffle, leading to the ejections of Orlando’s Robin Lopez and Admiral Schofield and Charlotte’s Harrell.

This outcome avenged Charlotte’s homecourt loss to Orlando in January — the Hornets’ only defeat during an eight-game stretch.

On Thursday, Ball and Rozier both pulled in eight rebounds as part of Charlotte’s 56-43 edge on the boards.

The Hornets took control in the second quarter, scoring 40 points for a 70-50 halftime lead.

Charlotte shot 57.8 percent in the first half. That included a 21-for-28 mark on 2-point attempts.

The Magic scored the first eight points of the second half. But the Hornets regained command, rebuilding a 20-point advantage in barely two minutes, behind seven quick points from Rozier.

By the end, Charlotte’s defense looked improved after giving up 144 points in each of its last two games — at Philadelphia and at Miami.

In the first quarter, the Hornets eclipsed the franchise record for points in a season (9,081 set in 2018-19).

Charlotte played without forward Gordon Hayward because of ankle soreness.

–Field Level Media

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